Michael Duduit, the editor of Preaching magazine had this to say in a recent edition of Preaching.com about preaching so no one can misunderstand:
In their book God’s Message, Your Sermon (Thomas Nelson), Wayne House and Daniel Garland cite the danger of making certain assumptions as we preach. They write: “Preachers who deliver sermons with impact are those who make it impossible for people not to understand the message. Without insulting the intelligence of their audiences, they are careful not to assume their listeners know their Bibles, understand theological terminology, or have instant recall of statements made earlier in the message. Most important, they do not assume their audience came to the gathering motivated to learn or even interested in the topic!
“Good communicators know people can’t read their minds or always understand their words. They look for opportunities to provide visual aids, whether physical objects, projected images, handouts, body language, or picturesque speech. Without dumbing down God’s message, they word their sermons for ease in understanding.” (Click here to learn more about the book God’s Message, Your Sermon)
While my experience says that it is impossible to preach so that NOONE not to misunderstand, we need to ask,
- Who MIGHT misunderstand this?
- What classes of people might not understand if I put it this way?
- Are there some groups I am willing to let misunderstand in order that others may understand?
Just a thought. What do YOU think?